A healthy smile is a bonus at any age. Too often older people, neglect the health of their teeth. It is never too late to learn the basics of oral health care.
An important part of good oral health is knowing how to brush and floss correctly. Thorough brushing each day removes plaque. Gently brush the teeth on all sides with a soft bristle brush using a fluoride toothpaste. Circular and short back-and-forth strokes work best. Take the time to brush carefully along the gum line. Lightly brushing your tongue also helps to remove plaque and food debris and makes your mouth feel fresh.
In addition to brushing, using dental floss is necessary to keep the gums healthy. Proper flossing is important because it removes plaque and leftover food that a toothbrush cannot reach. Your dentist or dental hygienist can show you the best way to brush and floss your teeth. If brushing or flossing results in bleeding gums, pain, or irritation, see your dentist at once.
The American Dental Association (ADA(R)), in collaboration with Crest(R) and Oral-B(R), yesterday revealed findings from a national public opinion survey on oral health care.
Here is a sneak peek at the key learnings:
1. While eight of 10 Americans say taking care of one's mouth, teeth and gums is "absolutely needed," only one-third of them say they do an "excellent" job taking care of them.
2. One parent in four says his or her kids do only a "fair" or "poor" job taking care of their own mouth, teeth and gums.
3. Americans deem the smile the most important physical attribute but do not realize a beautiful smile is not always a healthy smile and can mask underlying oral health problems. More than one in three Americans say:
-- They think a little bleeding from brushing is normal (33%), yet it's not. It could be a sign of gum disease or something even worse.
-- They are unaware that periodontal disease needs to be treated and cannot be left alone (33%).
-- They don't know that poor oral health has been associated with serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes (37%).
"This survey helps dentists understand opinions their patients may not be sharing, opinions that provide an opportunity to address perception versus reality when it comes to oral health," said Ada Cooper, D.D.S., Consumer Advisor for the ADA and a practicing dentist in NY.
"These findings further strengthen our dedication to helping all Americans achieve good oral health through the products and education we offer," said Leslie Winston, D.D.S., Ph.D., director of Professional and Scientific Relations, Procter and Gamble Oral Care Research Center. "We are happy to provide a united front with the ADA to help combat these societal issues."